Looking back at the first Governors cup yacht race in 1996.
Written by St Helena Podcast on January 3, 2019
In less than twenty four hours St Helena will welcome the first yacht over the finish line for the 2018 Cape to St Helena yacht race.
This race was the original idea and vision of Captain Dave Roberts a former Captain of the RMS St Helena, with the help of former Governor David Smallman and the Royal Cape yacht club in Cape Town South Africa.
The first Cape to St Helena race that was formally known as the Governor’s cup race began life in December 1996.
The first yacht scheduled to be over the finish line in this years race is the trimaran, Banjo.
Banjo is skippered by Kevin Webb and has completed this race to St Helena three times. Banjo took the bellows line honours trophy in 2012 and in the 2014 race Banjo broke their previous record and finished in 9 days, 13 hours and 36 seconds winning the multi hull class.
Back in 1996 the first yacht over the finish line in St Helena was fifty-foot racing yacht “Nina”
The race coordinator Craig Middleton from the Royal Cape yacht club recorded that Nina with her crew of four crossed the race finish line taking a total of 8 days 21 hours and 57 minutes.
Nina was welcomed by a group of cheering supporters onboard a launch that was shipped specially to the Island for the race coordination.
Simon Pipe of We Love St Helena who was also on St Helena in 1996 made a audio recording of the welcome arrival of the first yacht from on board the launch
Simon captured the moment including live reporting from Radio St Helena on the race Simon also spoke to the race coordinator Craig Middleton, his wife Claire, Journalist, the crew of Nina, also three young St Helenians (one of them was Giselle Richards) who presented gifts to the crew of Nina.
Here is a recording of that historical event.